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Government Island Restoration Project
Multnomah County, OR
Government Island Restoration Project (DOE/EA-2006/SA-07)
Multnomah County, OR
PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has decided to fund the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) to undertake the Government Island Restoration Project within the Columbia River mainstem in Multnomah County. Government Island is a mid-channel island in the Lower Columbia River just upstream of Portland, Oregon. The middle portion of the island contains freshwater wetlands and a seasonal lake (Jewett Lake) which is currently hydrologically disconnected from the river by a large water control structure. The eastern portion of the island is armored along the bank by riprap revetment that disconnects a historical wetland swale from the river. This restoration project presents the opportunity to reconnect almost 300 acres of quality floodplain habitat back to the Columbia River making it completely accessible to fish and wildlife species. Food web connectivity would be greatly enhanced between the interior wetlands and the larger Columbia River system. Water quality would improve as higher water events would more frequently flood and inundate the site.
 
The proposed project has three overarching objectives, which are shown below. The bullets below each objective demonstrate the actions that would be taken to ensure each objective is met. 
 
Objective 1: Re-establish hydrologic connectivity and fish access between Government
Island and the Columbia River
  • Increase access and expand food web connectivity by removing water control structure that currently overtops at elevation 26.8 ft. (NAVD88)
  • Provide additional access and facilitation of channel development by realigning riprap and notching a floodplain channel opening at the eastern end of the island
 
Objective 2: Increase wetland habitat capacity
  • Enhance foraging interface and prey production through native wetland vegetation planting
  • Retain existing overstory and riparian habitat along channel edges
  • Increase channel habitat complexity with the installation of log weirs, if necessary for grade control
 
Objective 3: Retain Port of Portland Wetland Mitigation Credits
  • Retain existing wetland acres and waterfowl habitat areas
  • Install log weirs, if necessary, to  preserve wetland mitigation area in Jewett Lake and surrounding wetlands
  • Enhance wetland area with additional plantings


ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
BPA prepared a Supplement Analysis (SA) following the procedures in DOE’s NEPA Implementing Procedures at 10 CFR 1021 to the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Project Environmental Assessment (Programmatic Estuary EA). The Programmatic Estuary EA analyzed the environmental impacts anticipated for restoration projects within the Columbia River Estuary, with the intent of facilitating and streamlining future site-specific project reviews.
 
This SA considered project specific impacts within the Columbia River estuary as a result of the Government Island Restoration Project. The SA describes anticipated impacts to fish; hydrology and hydraulics; water quality; geomorphology, soils, and topography; sediment quality; air quality; wildlife; wetlands, floodplains, and vegetation; land use and recreation; cultural resources; socioeconomics; visual resources; noise, hazardous waste, public health, and safety; transportation and infrastructure; and climate change.
 
BPA did not conduct independent public scoping for this project due to the project’s consistency with the analysis provided in the Programmatic Estuary EA, for which a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) was issued on July 7, 2016.


The schedule for the environmental review is as follows:

NEPA analysis and documentation
Construction start
June 24,, 2019 - July 11, 2019
August 1, 2019, 2019
 
CURRENT STATUS:
BPA has completed the environmental review process for this project and has published a Supplement Analysis (link below).

CONTACT:
For environmental information, contact:
Elisabeth Bowers
Environmental Protection Specialist
ACS Pro Staffing
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208 -3621

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  503-230-5184
Email:  ekbowers@bpa.gov
 
For project information, contact:
Ann Creason
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - EWL-4
PO Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208 -3621

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  503-230-3859
Email:  amcreason@bpa.gov
 

DOCUMENTS:

FINAL EA/FONSI
Public letter                             (07/22/2016)
Final EA                                  (07/07/2016)
FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan       (07/07/2016)

SUPPLEMENT ANALYSIS
Supplement Analysis                 (07/11/2019)